MSA Project Complete

RMAF CN-235 MSA M44-01 being prepared for her flight home on June 7, 2023. PTDI

SHAH ALAM: It appears that RMAF MSA fleet is complete, with the third aircraft already operational with No 1 Skuadron at the Kuching airbase in Sarawak. Tail number 01 – which was the last to be sent to Bandung for the MSA conversion – was pictured at the airbase in a RMAF social media post on February 1.

The pictures were taken during a visit to the airbase by officers from the Defence Ministry policy and strategic planning division. They were there ahead of the inauguration of the MSI funded project by Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin soon.

RMAF and Defence Ministry officials posed for a photograph in front of tail number 01. RMAF.

The release from RMAF

LAWATAN DELEGASI BAHAGIAN DASAR DAN PERANCANGAN STRATEGIK (BDPS) KE PANGKALAN UDARA KUCHING
KUCHING, 30 Januari 2024 – Timbalan Setiausaha BDPS, Encik Sahipuljaiman bin Sulaiman bersama delegasi BDPS telah melaksanakan Lawatan Kerja ke Pangkalan Udara Kuching bagi melihat pesawat CN235-220M yang telah dinaiktaraf sebagai Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) di bawah Program Maritime Security Initiative (MSI).
Tujuan utama lawatan kerja ini adalah untuk melihat dan mendengar taklimat pengoperasian ketiga-tiga pesawat CN235-220M yang telah dinaiktaraf kepada MSA di bawah program MSI yang telah dilaksanakan pada tahun 2018 hingga 2022. Selain daripada itu, lawatan kerja ini juga adalah untuk membuat persediaan kepada majlis penerimaan pesawat-pesawat MSA oleh YB Menteri Pertahanan yang akan diadakan bersama dengan bakal Duta Besar Amerika Syarikat yang dirancang pada tahun ini.
Ketibaan beliau dan delegasi di Pangkalan Udara Kuching telah disambut oleh Kolonel Baharin bin Mohamad TUDM, Komander Pangkalan Udara Kuching; Leftenan Kolonel Raja Ismail Fahmi bin Raja Ibrahim TUDM, Pegawai Memerintah No 1 Skuadron serta Pegawai-pegawai di Pangkalan Udara Kuching.
Taklimat pengoperasian CN235-220 MSA telah disampaikan oleh Mej Mohamad Hafiz bin Shamsudin TUDM, Ketua Flait Operasi No 1 Skuadron.
Sepanjang lawatan ini, Encik Sahipuljaiman bin Sulaiman bersama delegasi berpeluang melihat sendiri semua pesawat CN235-220M yang telah dinaiktaraf sebagai MSA dan juga sistem Mobile Adhoc Network (MANET).

RMAF third MSA CN-235 M44-01 being prepared for the flight home at PTDI facility in Bandung in June 2023. PTDI

It is unclear when 01 returned to Kuching as Malaysian Defence had posted on June 7 last year that PTDI – the manufacturer – had stated that aircraft was ready for delivery. RMAF typically never announced such deliveries. The first two MSA – M44-03 and M44-05 – returned to Kuching in June and October 2022, without any official announcement from RMAF.

–Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

23 Comments

  1. On paper the Beechcrafts [whats left of them] should be primarily focused on the Melaka Straits where their range, endurance and cramped conditions would be less of a factor. The CNs in turn would be focused on the South China Sea.

    What is the status of the MMEA’s Bormbadiers?

  2. Thanks Uncle Sam but I guess associating with him these days may not be such a good image.

    Speaking of which, any updates on MPA after the ATR72 was selected?

  3. @joe
    Not as bad as the early 2000s as Uncle Sam nowadays appear to be kinda confused which side in the middle east conflict they should root for

  4. 15 Skn (with the Beechcraft MPA) is now to be the MECU squadron and move to Kuantan AB.

    1 Skn is still in Kuching, now with 3x CN-235 MSA

    What Skn will the new ATR-72 MPA will be?

  5. What used to be 1 Squadron always maintained a detachment at Subang even though it relocated to Kuching; where the simulator is also based.

  6. @Zaft
    No it is worse as they are now seen by the world and even in the UN as colluding & protecting a nation genociding another nation and trying to wipe them from the face of this planet. Unlike the 2000s socmed has far reaching influence and their own people are viraled protesting the war crime actions of their own states. Being seen standing beside Uncle Sam isnt a good idea for now.

  7. ” What is the status of the MMEA’s Bormbadiers? ”

    Operational, and very active in 2023.

    Operating both in east and west malaysia. Did maritime patrols of melacca straits and south china sea off miri and bintulu. Done firefighting missions in Pengerang and Miri.

  8. Royal Brunei AF is getting 4x new C-295

    Probably will retire its single CN-235. We could buy that from RBAF

  9. @hulubalang
    We cant even stomach buying 4 RBAF Blackhawks on the cheap, why would we even consider to buy their used CN235 when TUDM did not mind reducing their light transport capacity with the MSA conversions?

  10. zaft – ”as Uncle Sam nowadays appear to be kinda confused which side in the middle east conflict they should root for”

    Bollocks. U.S. policy in the region has remained unchanged since 1967; near unconditional support for Israel and having a number of Arab states [including one which is the 2nd largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel] as strategic allies/partners in order to preserve and protect U.S. interests and those of its allies/partners/friends. This remains the bedrock of U.S. policy; notwithstanding certain geo-political shifts. If you need or are interested in sources; you only have to ask.

    … – ”We could buy that from RBAF”

    We can buy a whole list of things; on paper. The question is whether there’s actual intent and in the context of this topic does the government and RMAF see the need to expand the CN-235 fleet?

  11. It can theoretically be to replace the CN-235 M44-07 that has crashed.

    So it is not to expand the fleet, but to get it back to the original number of 8.

    TUDB CN-235 TUDB-501 construction number is N-033, just 1 number away from TUDM M44-01 construction number, which is N-034. Should be the of the same general specifications.

  12. … – ”It can theoretically be to replace the CN-235 M44-07 that has crashed.”

    Alright. Let me try again then from a different angle. We can buy many things on paper but the pertinent question really is whether the decision makers see the need for attrition replacements.

  13. Azlan “This remains the bedrock of U.S. policy; notwithstanding certain geo-political shifts”

    Ahhh, But there’s is a political shift going on in their domestic fronts which challenges the execution of near unconditional support policy.

  14. zaft – ”But there’s is a political shift going on in their domestic fronts which challenges the execution of near unconditional support policy.”

    So? You claimed that ” Uncle Sam nowadays appear to be kinda confused which side in the middle east conflict they should root for” and now you’ve come up with something totally different … Also, contrary to your claim there is no serious attempt by either political side to change the status quo with regards to Israeli policy by the U.S.

  15. Since Anwar is buddies with Brunei PM maybe he can ask Brunei PM to convince Brunei Sultan to give their CN235 FOC

  16. Those who propose to get the Brunei CN should look at the AF CAP55 which will not include the existing CN. Perhaps better to place efforts in getting the Herky upgraded.

  17. Sigh… why are we still talking about hypothetical attrition replacement? That crash happened in 2016 so a good 8 years ago, if TUDM had seen the need to replace they would have done it a long time ago. Instead they reduced the CN235 transport role by agreeing to convert 3 units into MSA. So one should ask themselves, why would TUDM do that. Well its obvious they see a lesser need for light transport today.

  18. dundun – ‘Since Anwar is buddies with Brunei PM maybe he can ask Brunei PM to convince Brunei Sultan to give their CN235 FOC’

    Get them to repay 1MDB’s debts and the cash we owe the World Development Bank. Anwar is such best mates/chums/buddies with all the major leader’s the RM should be on par with the USD by 2035 and the RMAF should get stored B-1s from AMARG so the RMAF can have a ”potent” and ”credible” strike capability.

  19. ”Its obvious they see a lesser need for light transport today” or they see more of a need for MPAs/MSAs …

  20. “or they see more of a need for MPAs/MSAs”
    Yes and no. While the MSA conversion has eaten up the 3 existing CN235 transporters, TUDM didnt see the need to replace the loss of M44-07 that had way before precluded the MSA deal or the upcoming MPA. Why is that so, its got nothing to do with the MSA/MPA.

  21. ”TUDM didnt see the need to replace the loss of M44-07 that had way”

    Never thought it would have a need [as suggested by ‘…’]. Also, the one which was lost was the VIP variant; not of the the 6 transport variants owned by the RMAF. Again, we can clearly see that the RMAF sees more of need for MSAs/MPAs; rather than CNs in the transport role.

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